5 Random Things: March

I have so many great things to share this month so I made a list of my usual five then added TV, books, and podcasts at the end. Three of the items in my list were from a trip to Anthropologie when I went in to buy a spring break dress and came out with a notepad, desk accessories, an over-the-top sweatsuit, a moto jacket, and the dress.

After all that, Anel and I decided over the weekend to cancel our trip to the Caribbean scheduled for next week. We’re still going to take three days off, but we don’t feel comfortable flying anywhere where we could potentially get stuck out of the country in case things get crazy with flights and getting back into the US.

Luckily Jet Blue was amazing about canceling our flights without a fee. We didn’t get a refund, but the money went into a travel bank that we can use at any time in the next year. Our hotel, the Eden Roc Cap Cana, also canceled our stay with no questions asked.

Stay tuned on our new location… sadly it won’t be anywhere warm near a beach but it’s somewhere I have dreamed about going for years and I cannot wait!

1. My Daily Overview notepad ($18): I am very old school when it comes to to-do lists. I’ve tried every app, every journal, every everything, but the only thing that works for me is hand-writing my list on a piece of paper every morning. In 2020 this seems insane to a lot of people but it’s the only thing that works for me! I found this daily overview notepad on that fateful visit to Anthro and have since bought three more pads because I don’t think I’ll ever turn back. Although I might try to just print my own version of the same thing after I run out.

I like that it has a to-do list on the left side and a schedule for the day on the right, but the other details make it really special. There is a section for the day’s intention, a section for gratitudes, and a section for “until tomorrow” which has been helpful when I want to write something down but don’t need to get it done that day.

I save the used pieces and let Amalia use the back for coloring, a great hack for anyone using one side of paper for whatever reason.

2. The ReBoard cutting board ($35): Bon Appetit named Material’s sustainable ReBoard cutting board the best one out there for a reason. The colorful, BPA-free boards are made from recycled plastic scraps and renewable sugarcane. I like it because it’s lightweight and easy to move back and forth from the sink to the counter, but I don’t feel guilty about the plastic. It sells out quite often so if you’re in the market for a new cutting board, I suggest jumping right on it.

3. Acrylic desk accessories: I’m finishing up my home office design (photos coming soon) and wanted to upgrade desk accessories like my stapler, tape dispenser, and scissors. It’s amazing how much these small swaps make the desk look so much more inviting. I love it when form and function come together in this way.

4. House of Noa Everyday Mats (gifted): I am a big House of Noa fan and tell everyone I know about their comfy kitchen mats. The latest product to come out of this Connecticut-mom run company is their collection of everyday mats. They’re made for under high chairs or impromptu picnics. I pulled one out the other day when a friend came over for a visit with her twin babies. It’s the perfect grab-and-go mat that’s easy to wipe clean in a matter of seconds. We will be using these for beach picnics all summer!

5. Sundry sweatsuit: I have barely taken off this sweatshirt and joggers combo since I bought it. I have worn it to daycare pick up and drop off which has had Amalia regularly asking me why I’m wearing my pajamas out of the house. I have worn it to work from home. I have had to force myself to take it off, in fact. It’s so soft and comfy and cute and I was planning to wear it on the flight that we ended up cancelling.

Book – The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna: My mom read it and loved it. She passed it to my sister who read it and loved it. My sister passed it to me and, as you may have guessed, I’m reading it and love it. I plan to pass it on to a friend next. This novel is told from the perspective of a young woman in Connecticut who is the granddaughter of the elusive Stella Fortuna.

The story begins in Italy during WWI when Stella’s mother is struggling to survive with young children and her husband fighting in the war. It then covers their immigration to America and the story spans three decades of women. The book touches on motherhood, sisterhood, immigration, poverty, and overcoming obstacles in a beautiful way. I’m not quite finished yet but I have really enjoyed reading it, especially as the granddaughter of an Italian immigrant family (who also lives in Connecticut!).  It’s very well-written and captivates you from the very beginning.

If you have just had a baby or are experiencing any PPD or PPA symptoms, do not read this book right now.

The reason I have Such a Fun Age in the photo for this post is that I was going to originally include it in this list but Stella Fortuna trumps it by a long shot. That said, it’s also a good read.

TV ShowLove is Blind (Netflix): I had a cold for the majority of our weekend and Anel let me rest and recover which meant finally bingeing Love is Blind, a show that seemingly everyone has been talking about lately. Wow. Wow wow wow.

For those of you who haven’t heard of this cultural phenomenon that is sweeping the country, the premise of the show is incredible: Vanessa and Nick Lachey put 40 singles in an “experiment” to see if love is really blind. The men and women meet for “dates” in windowless rooms (pods) divided by a wall. They can do or talk about anything, but they can’t see each other until one of them proposes. Proposes! As in marriage! The idea is to see if their love will last when you add in factors like looks, race, and age. But of course, they’re all around the same age and they’re all ridiculously good looking.

Five couples get engaged in those first 10 days and then have 30 more days to plan their weddings. I won’t give away what happens next but it’s just bananas. Some of the couples really did find true love, but some of them were clearly in it for the wrong reasons. My jaw was hanging the entire time and the reunion at the end of the series gave me some of the most intense second-hand embarrassment I have ever had from television. It was so bad that it was good. And I loved every second of it.

Have you watched it yet? If so, I’m dying to hear your thoughts!

PodcastBear Brook: Out of all the murder-y podcasts I’ve listened to so far, this is the most interesting because it brings up a cold case that forever changed the way murder cases are solved. It is a fascinating dive into the world of genealogy and forensics and somehow feels less scary to listen to since the murders happened decades ago. I like that it’s not as dramatic as some of the other mystery podcasts and just states the facts in a really thoughtful and smart way. Loved it. Highly recommend.

Check out the 5 random things I was loving in
JulyAugustSeptember, OctoberNovemberDecember, January, and February.

Tell me one thing you’re loving this month!

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  1. Correna said:

    I have not finished an entire series of any reality dating show since the Flavor of Love, Rock of Love, and Tila Tequila era. Lol I now how that sounds but I just find the people and personalities boring compared to the earlier wacky reality TV “characters”. This is the first show with “normal” people I could finish. It was really my fascination with Jessica that made me keep watching. She gave me so many conflicted feelings! I wanted to root for her but I cringed and smacked my forehead at so many of her choices!!!

    3.9.20 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Woah such a throw back to Tila Tequila. I forgot about that incredible era of dating shows. Ugh, Jessica. She killed me! I felt so bad for her but also she was hard to root for. I feel you!

      3.10.20 · Reply
  2. Biana said:

    I can’t wait to hear where you’re going because we also decided to postpone our trip to Portugal for the same reasons. We are still taking the days off and staying closer to home – which is in New England!

    3.9.20 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      I’m so sorry to hear that! It’s such a bummer but definitely the right call. I shared it on Instagram yesterday but it’s Canyon Ranch!!

      3.10.20 · Reply
  3. so bummed for you that your trip is cancelled… Are you taking guesses as to where you’re going? I’m thinking of a certain resort in RI that I, too, would love to go to this time of year if I could…wherever you go, safe travels and have fun!

    3.9.20 · Reply
  4. Lauren said:

    I binged watched Love is Blind too! Legit it was like 50 Shades of Grey addiction. While folding laundry, every 10 minutes I could spare with two kids and a full time job, it was on! So good!

    3.9.20 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      OMG me too with folding laundry. I’d sneak off for 5 minutes and Anel would be like are you watching that show again? Haha

      3.10.20 · Reply
  5. Libby said:

    Julia!! You should watch The Circle on Netflix!!! Its another Netflix produced reality show, and OMG you will be shook and laugh your butt off the whole time you watch!! I hope you had a great start to your week! 🙂

    xx Libby

    3.9.20 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      So many people have told me this. I’m on it!!

      3.10.20 · Reply
  6. Vellie said:

    Binged watched it when it first came out (thanks MAT leave) and had to wait an entire week until the weddings. I just abiut survived that week waiting. Cringy as hell but also great television!

    3.9.20 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      How did you wait that week? I would have just about lost my mind!

      3.10.20 · Reply
  7. Erica said:

    I love these random posts! Your sweatshirt and joggers have caught my eye more than once. It looks so good on you!

    3.9.20 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Thanks! I live in them. They’re so fun!

      3.10.20 · Reply
  8. The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna sounds right up my street! I love reading family sagas – especially historical fiction ones. Plus, I’m also a granddaughter from an immigrant Italian family *high five* (but I don’t live in Connecticut haha … I live in Toronto). Thanks for the solid book recommendation. I’m going to check my local library for a copy.

    3.10.20 · Reply
  9. Lillie said:

    I was wide awake at 3:15 this morning. At 4 I threw in the towel and watched The Reunion. Except for the part when Amber told off Jessica, I thought the whole thing was pretty anticlimactic! I enjoyed the series though. My daughter initially rebuffed my attempts to get her to watch with me, but she got sucked towards the end of the first episode!

    3.10.20 · Reply